The death of business behemoth and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, is a fitting moment to stop and consider what impact his life, work and contributions have had on contemporary society. His contributions are particularly important for the youth demographic most familiar with his creations and for a technology centric institution such as Southampton University.
A status symbol and a lifestyle for some, Apple under Jobs inspired an almost religious fanatiscism which lead brand devotees on regular pilgrimages to Apple stores to consume its newest products in an almost ritualistic fashion. The company has become the cynosure of modern global society by producing multi-functional everday electronic devices in a world where technology has become the prevailing social capital and an unequivocal factor in day to day interactions.
Although it’s not impossible to conceive a world without an ipod in every low slung jean pocket and an ipad nestling against the wrist of every business suit, Apple’s output during Jobs’ reign set the precedent in commercial technology. It has forced other manufacturers to imbue “Apple” features into their own products in an attempt to keep up to speed and to imbue the companies talent for making money. The company’s gross income is purported to rival the GDP’s of several economies.
It’d be misleading and also an injustice to look towards a “masterpiece” of Jobs career. It was not defined by one “eureka” moment, inappropriately canonised in history. Rather, it was a life long commitment to the revolutionising power of constant progress and innovation, with a rightful place in public memory.
Jobs, who recently resigned from his position at Apple in order to wage a private battle against pancreatic cancer, was confirmed to have passed away by his company two days ago. The news has engendered immense sadness in the Apple community and wider society.
Like any highly successful public figure, Jobs did not rise to eminence without controversy, but the efforts of his company during his reign revolutionised the face of modern society, and it is in this light that he will most likely be remembered.